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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014
The birthday song
Anil Mathur, Hindustan Times
October 17, 2012
First Published: 23:07 IST(17/10/2012)
Last Updated: 23:09 IST(17/10/2012)

A birthday is of great importance in one’s life. One takes great care on how to celebrate one’s birthday. Perhaps there are as many ways of doing this as there are number of people on this planet.

The traditional way of cutting a cake, visiting a temple, throwing a party or giving donations to thank the Almighty for His kindness and grace are all popular and are used by millions all over the world.

But what has particularly surprised me is the way a friend, a leading travel agent, celebrates his birthday. No party or cake cutting for him. Instead, he goes in for what is certainly a more lasting, memorable and worthwhile way of observing the growing years in life.

He and his scholar wife make it a point to invite friends to experience musical mono-act play by noted singer, composer and lyricist, Shekhar Sen, who this year chose the life of Swami Vivekanand, to bring awareness by enlightening the minds with his revolutionary thoughts.

Perhaps the captivating part of the spell-bound show was the unforgettable Chicago speech, which brought India and Hinduism in the limelight in 1893.

But there were many more details on the life of the saint, which must be better and more widely known.

Sen uses 32 song sequences  to weave the life of Swami Vivekananda.

Interestingly, to celebrate his earlier birthday, my friend had requested Sen to give a moving act on Kabir, which in its own way was spell bounding, bring to the fore many interesting aspects of the life of Kabir.

Sen has invented a new era of path-breaking mono-act musical plays, presenting spiritual jewels like Kabir, Vivekananda and Tulsi.

He mesmerises the appreciative people who no doubt thanks people like my friend who help them think, introspect, laugh, cry, entertain and educate.

And, in the process, the entire nation gains in keeping up a rich tradition, history and wealth alive, long after other forms of birthday celebrations are forgotten.


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